tv Americas News Headquarters FOX News December 25, 2011 4:00pm-5:00pm EST
christmas! >> the virgin birth preserves the symbol of christ. the message is a celebration of feast, of reconciliation, and christ. >> jesus was born in a stable. while caesar was in a palace running the world live from america's news headquarters. white house condemning suspected terrorist attacks that killed 35 people in nigeria. the blast hitting three churches
and one targeted police building. a radical islamic group is claiming responsibility. they vowed to work with the nigerians to track all those responsible behind the attacks. faithful in bethlehem attending mass at at ancient church that is the traditional birthplace. >> high above manger square it was very wet but nevertheless a beautiful crime here but the weather did not deter anyone and people from all over the world came to celebrate a very unique christmas. >> in the church built one the grotto of jesus's birth, christmas has a special meaning. even the driving in cold air could not driveway the spirit. they are packed. we have christmas carols and
this year the church of nativity and right through this you see a saw of people where you krousm down and get to see where the bible says jesus was born more than two millenia ago. a lot of people walked out and said they are changed person. manger square is decorated beautifully and celebration says like any other. there is underlying tensions as palestinian christians become a smaller and installer minority. they praise forward help. jamie back to you. >> jamie: i'm jamie jamie colby but noi back to our christmas special, birth of jesus. ♪ hallelujah ♪ hallelujah
for 2,000 years christians have celebrated the birth of jesus with prayer and joyful song. peace on earth, good will to all is a simple christmas message and at the heart of jesus' teaching. welcome to the special presentation from fox. this is bethlehem where jesus was born. coming up on the program, a special guide will take us on a tour of the church of the nativity, travel to nazareth to see a recreation of life at the time of jesus. and then to jerusalem, where will learn how to tell a fake from a find and why many religious leaders are angry about a best selling book called "assault on christianity." but, first, what do we know of the birth of jesus? how do we know it?
the books of the old testament were in circulation as oral history for thousands of years before the birth of jesus and put together in the second century before the christian era and the saying and stories of jesus were first passed down and preserved by word of mouth. >> it is a great mystery of church history that we do not always know exactly how they spread. archaeologist and bible scholar authored a book. >> we do not know who wrote matthew, mark and john, those are names attributed in the 2nd century but it was written down early the sources for other books of the bibles when 20 year timeframe. >> there are no first editions of the gospels, originals were lost or destroyed. what survives are scraps of paper written in greek or
coptic. >> i studied the beginning of the christian movement in graduate school and professors had cabinets full of gospels i never heard. >> a professor of religion at princeton and author. >> these texts belonged in a monastery and copied and loved and read by the monks but an archbishop of alexandria sent a letter saying you can keep 276 these and the other books he told them to destroy were hidden >> the gospels and their stories of jesus remain hiddenned for 1,600 years and were discovered by a farmer digging for fertilizer. over the centuries, other stories were written about jesus and they were known as gospels and there is another book that tells about jesus. the story of jesus and his virgin birth is in the koran.
professor of religious studies at california state university. >> muslims believe like christians, that jesus was born to mary, a virgin, and mary is the only woman who is mentioned by name in the koran and mentioned more by name in the koran than in the new testament. >> of the four new testament gospels only two feature the nativity story. the gospel according to luke tells of the roman emperor and his census and the trip from nazareth to bethlehem and the birth of jesus who was born in the manger. but in matthew there is no mention of this. joseph and mary are already living in both ham. and some details in mathew, the star, and magi, they are not mentioned in luke. for many, the details and the
difference in the gospels did not matter. the questions are resolved by faith. >> we are evangelical protestants and we do believe the christmas story that the angel came to mary and the angels celebrated christ's birth outside of bethlehem. >> this is the senior pastor of the moody church in chicago, and a poll of american christian adults find 75 percent agree with the pastor and believe the christmas story is historically accurate. >> the point is, if jesus is who he claimed to be, the son of god, and if he came to prove he was the son of god, and to die for us, then these miracles become very believable. >> the nativity stories are parables. they give you the story of the
child. >> motives were not to document history but to make them meaningful in a word of competing religions. >> matthew has jesus give the sermon on the mount it is models on moses as he is born so as moses was almost killed by the pharoah jesus will be almost killed by the evil king. the number one message from roman theology was that the emperor was define and that the emperor had a define right to rule. >> and take note of the sim golf -- symbol that caesar used. >> when he died, the haley comet flew across the sky and they thought that was the soul of
caesar. so when you say in a nativity story that the real star is, in fact, over a main jer in bethlehem and a little pestant jewish boy is the savior and lord of the universe, that is a dramatic counterclaim to the message of roman imperial theology. >> the details become food for thought. i also agree with the expression that the devil is in the details >> the pastor of the christian cultural center in new york city. >> the birth of jesus is the miracle and mystery of god. we are taught to question and taught to think things through. but we are taught to never allow the discussions to take away from the basic faith. that is what it is, a matter of faith.
>> next we travel to what was a humble peasant village, the hometown of jesus. stay tuned. if you have high blood pressure, like me, and get a cold... ...you need a cold medicine with a heart. only coricidin hbp has a heart, right here. it's the only cold and flu brand that won't raise your blood pressure. coricidin hbp. powerful cold medicine with a heart.
[ woman ] ♪ what i want this season ♪ if you'd like to try and guess ♪ ♪ it is something very special ♪ i would readily confess [ dogs barking ] ♪ 'cause all i want this season ♪ ♪ is something from your heart ♪ la da da, la da da [ male announcer ] thinking of others this holiday season, travelers. 8% every 10 years.age 40, we can start losing muscle -- wow. wow. but you can help fight muscle loss with exercise and ensure muscle health. i've got revigor. what's revigor? it's the amino acid metabolite, hmb
to help rebuild muscle and strength naturally lost over time. [ female announcer ] ensure muscle health has revigor and protein to help protect, preserve, and promote muscle health. keeps you from getting soft. [ major nutrition ] ensure. nutrition in charge! >> in nazareth, the traditional site of the virgin mary's home and the cave, and the gospel according to luke says it was here the mayor cefl jesus' birth
began. and that gabriel appeared to mary and told her she was chosen to be the mother of the son of god, but nothing else is written in the gospels of the lives jesus and his family led in nazareth. with so little information about jesus' boyhood christians were curious and authors invented stories to fill the gaps. together, we are known as the apocryphal gospels discounted long ago but still read today. >> they have a wonderful story of how the suitors for mary were asked to come to temple with the staff and the staff wealth rod that would flower and that man would be the husband of mary. and of course the only staff that flowered was joseph. >> father joseph of the st. joseph university in philadelphia is a leading historian in the catholic
church. >> a purpose of the apocryphal gospel was to provide the details that christians wandered about the lives of jesus, mary and joseph. >> the story in the apocryphal about a young jesus were popular and treated like dime store books. >> an interesting book is the story of thomas which is maive louse -- which is marvelous like what it is for god to be a child. he started off poorly and then knocks him down. >> and another story is an in competent carpenter who is
jesus. >> at the end his heart and wisdom is under control and ready to use it for good. >> why are the lives of mary and joe self hidden in mystery? joseph disappears after the christmas story. leaving early christians free to depict him as they please. >> christian art shows joseph portrayed as older gentleman. >> a former priest teaches religion at new york university to christians, muslims, and jews. >> joseph is written out of the story to preserve the virginity, and mary continued to be a virgin after the birth of jesus which means you cannot have brothers and sisters, right? but the gospels clearly mention jesus as having brothers and sisters. some churches, that is not an issue. after the virgin birth mary and joseph has a conventional family. a former priest says roman
catholics have wrestled with that. the word "brothers," is a problem with the question of dogma driving interpretation. so we have a greek word with a meaning of "brothers," and anyone looking at the text would say, are these the brothers of jesus? >> the apocryphal gospels presented the brothers and sisters as the children of joseph from a first marriage but the catholic and apocryphal do not always agree. >> church believes that mary remained a virgin after the bitionz -- after the birth of jesus. the brothers and sisters were cousins. >> but that is piety driving the interpretation, so one translation rather than being
"brothers," is "cousins." questions of joseph's age is a dilemma for some over the virgin birth. >> it is critical we believe in the virgin birth because that preserves the seamlessness of christ. in the early church the concern was on jesus' define origins and on the virgin conception and birth. >> you look at the gospel story, the christmas story, you see there is an effort to make jesus competitive with the other gods. >> and jonathan sees parallels in the story of the virgin birth of jesus and that of caesar augustus who is proclaimed "define," because his mother slept with apollo, so in the gospels, you have the virgin birth competing with that.
some scholars want to deny the virgin birth saying we could go into paganism and find accounts of virgin birth with the gods often having sex with a woman. jesus was born in a stable. when caesar was in a palace, running the world. the contrast is set up immediately. >> you read the gospels and it is clear they are not written to record history. they are trying to tell a story in such a way that it is believable, that is acceptable, that is enticing. when we come to the new testament we have a decision: are we going to accept this as it is written? or are we going to look for some clues to disbelieve the miracles on its pages? stay with us for more on "the birth o
more importance in world history than anyone might have thought. and now a look at a day in the life of nazareth at the time of jesus. modern day nazareth is an arab city, you would hardly know this as the place jesus grew up. but in the center of town is a small village built to show what life was like. >> this is how the majority of the people lived in the first century. no middle class, you lived very well like the people in a few towns or like most of the people, simple, peasant existence. >> a former senior curator in israel spent 40 years investigating ancient life in the holy land. >> peasants, which most people were, lived off what we see: sheep, goats, olive trees. >> jesus probably had chores each day to help his parents.
>> kids did not go to school. for a young boy, you got up at crack of dawn. you were out there with the sheep and goats. if not with the sheep and goats you worked in the harvest. people worked from sun up to sundown. in the first century the close of the thing to a modern convenience was this. >> we see an olive press which were this and are now important part of the economy for the peasants. >> this was high-tech for its day. >> this is as high-tech as you can find in the peasant villages. >> as high-tech as the olive press, low tech describes another important enterprise. >> this is the wine press. >> above us is where the vineyards were. the grapes were picked and brought here and walked upon. >> as we know, wine was a popular beverage.
>> you have the whole family here, people took turns and the juice flowed down into the pit and was put into storage jars and then stored and made into wine. >> these are self-sufficient. the pestants make their own pots and carpentry. >> joseph and jesus would work with tools leak these. >> these are the items manufactured and this is used. a lot of the things, for example, the olives and peas have to be crushed. and we find also, basalt and they take this here, and when you want to have a nice smooth edge, that is the process. these are the drilled of antique times. >> a cordless drill.
>> exactly. >> and that is how holes were made for the carpentry back then. we see the tools that were manufactured in the carpentry shop, a label here, and we see a nice heavy wooden bowl and these things here, and probably they would last forever and would last for a generation, certainly. >> housekeeping and cooking could have been a real challenge for mary. >> had to sweep all the time because you do not want vermin running and. >> what do we have here? >> this is how cheese and butter were made. the milk was placed in here, and this is a butter churn, very effective. and you have a kid here and his job is to swing this back and forth and in an hour you have butter. >> inside this dwelling is a first century version of "this old house."
>> this was the living room and dining room. >> yes, this is the room where the food was prepared outside there in the kitchen and the floors are dirt, maybe some plaster, small wooden table, something to sit on. it does not rain for nine months and during the three months when it rains, december, january and february, you collect as much water as you can so this is a collecting of the run off. the water is coming down the hill and this is a system where you cap it, and the water filters to the bottom and the clean water overflows. the water is taken from the well here and placed in the containers here, the areas which are used for cleaning the fruits and vegetables prior to food preparation. these are the type of plans jesus would use. these are made of ceramics. >> for refrigeration they went
underground. >> what they have done is taken the soft limestone and carved it out into a storage facility underground, and it is very easy to work and practical especially during the summer months when it is so hot. these places are cool. in jesus' day this is typical. >> here's the typical paths that connect village to village and house-to-house. muddy in the winter. and stony. but the romans had 80,000 miles of paveed roads. but nazareth never had until centuries later. life in the first century was no easy, today the trip from nazareth to bethlehem take as few hours by car and mary and joseph would need a week or more on the road. stay tuned.
we pledge to assist them in bringing those responsible to justice. the group claiming responsibility is calling for a sharea or islamic law throughout nigeria and those that reject their ideology to be infidels. the u.s. embassy has issued a warning two days telling americans they should be vigilant around churches and places where foreigners congregate. >> david lee miller live in the
newsroom. >> jamie: thank you for the latest on that. we're going send you back to our christmas special, birth of jesus and we'll have more headlines for you coming up. keep it right here on the fox news channel. merry christmas. ♪ hallelujah welcome back to our special presentation, i am jon scott. archeologist look for artifacts to learn of life in the past and here they have yet to find something enscribed "this was jesus' cup," or "jesus slept here." there have been significant finds but there have been incredible fakes, as well. a case belonging to john the baptist, and a box that held the bones of jesus' brother, these discoveries startled the religious communities. today the cave and the bone box are viewed with skepticism
because there is a long history of forging artifacts in the holy land. deep in the basement of the israeli antique authority, right from raiders of the lost ark, priceless treasures and bogus trash. >> we see encryptions going all the way around this but it is just a jumble of letters and it means nothing. nothing whatever. >> the fakes were made to be sold to unsuspecting tourists, and other techniques are used to fool professionals. >> take this which is from the iron age going back approximately 3,000 years. this is authentic. what does a forger do? he puts an encryption on this and you are fooled. >> the encryptions add great value when it can be tied to a character from the bible. >> an object that costs $200 and
they add a name and now the value is $2 million. and i was then taken to a museum to see encryptions on prized finds. >> this is a remarkable find and we see the encryption mentioning not only ponpius pilate but the emperor tiberius. >> it was found by chance when they were doing a renovation. >> the irony is the guy would presided over the trial of jesus, the only encryption with his name winds up as a theater seat. people were sitting on it. for hundreds of years. >> that is an irony of history. vanity of vanities. >> this is the bone box of the high priest, the one that said it is better one man die than a
whole nation suffer. so his bones ended up here? >> correct. the encryptions are authentic but names alone do not prove a thing. >> what is this? >> we have two ostuaries and one says son of jesus and one son of joseph. >> nothing related to jesus of nazareth? >> these are common names we find again and again on the bone boxes. a bone box was found "james, son of joseph, brother of jesus," and some experts thought it was authentic. >> there is no doubt that by itself it is authentic but the endescription is the question. >> part of the team called in to authenticate it, but the encryption was forged.
>> you think the encryption is a fake? >> we found out the encryption was freshly cut. . it has a new patina. >> other encryptions were found in a cave outside jerusalem. the archeologist who excavated the site says it was used by john the baptist. >> i don't believe there is a connection between this case which is from the iron age, and nothing to do with john the baptist. >> director of the israel antique authority. >> there are faces on the wall and a cross. does that suggest anything? (inaudible) this kind of drawing can be found everywhere in israel and everywhere in the world. >> and he took me to a site in jerusalem, a tomb, the son of
king david's tomb. he was famous for trying to overthrow his father. >> amazing. >> this was built from solid bedrock, 2,000 years ago. >> jesus would have seen this? >> jesus would have seen this prior to his crucifixtion. people believed this is his tomb so they stone it, muslims, christians and jews, for hundreds this has been a jerusalem tradition. >> behe is sure they were wrong, with encryptions suggesting it is people close to jesus' life who are buryied here. >> what does it say? >> we found an encryption "this is the tomb of the father of john." who is the "john," we think john the baptist. the encryption is in greek and stated no later than 350 after
christ. >> next is the oldest new testament encryption ever found, part of a verse from the nativity story of luke about the old man who held the baby jesus. >> you have seen then descriptions and you discovered them. how do you know they are authentic? >> good question. we are living in an age of forgeries with so much on the market but our encryption which were there 30' in the air. it is impossible to forge something like that today. >> a forger who want to forge something that he could sell and you cannot sell something this big. >> good point. no way, again, this is up there and it has been up there for almost 1,700 years. like the tomb christianity has survived over the centuries and these days it is a best selling book that has many crist leaders angry and upset.
[ male announcer ] in his eyes...a race needs no finish line. ♪ in her eyes... the world is never too big. in his...the weather should never keep you inside. ♪ because they see no limits, there's eukanuba nutrition designed to help their body go as far as their mind wants to. eukanuba. extraordinary nutrition for extraordinary beings. see the difference in 28 days or your money back. extraordinary nutrition for extraordinary beings. this was the gulf's best tourism season in years.
all because so many people came to louisiana... they came to see us in florida... make that alabama... make that miissippi. the best part of the gulf is wherever you choose... and now is a great time to discover it. this year millions of people did. we set all kinds of records. next year we're out to do even better. so come on down to louisiana... florida... alabama... mississippi. we can't wait to see you. brought to you by bp and all of us who call the gulf home.
>> under the domes, a russian orthodox church dedicated to a woman would name has been loved and vilified for centuries, mary magdalene. her name is at the center of debate pore -- more than ever. >> the heart of the da vinci code is that they knew that jesus was married to mary but because of the pressure of the church they communicated if codes because no one could come out and actually say this was the case. >> a pastor is author of "da vinci code deexception." i believe the book is a direct assault against the christian
faith. and the reason is because it attacks the two doctrines most important to being christian: the reliability of the new testament and the holiness of jesus christ and as a result, people are reading it and believing it. >> a way that brown hooks the readers and mixing historical fact pointing out that the catholic church including the pope in 593 smeared mary mag magdalene labeling her a prostitute. >> brown in his book says, she was not a prostitute but the lover and wife of jesus. in each case they are a sexual role. i do not get upset in the way someone in theology might, it is a fiction filmer. >> brown says everything when it is accurate. so this has caused a tremendous amount of confusion.
>> the book says that when leonardo painted the last supper, next to jesus is not john the apostle as believed for centuries, but rather to the right of jesus is actually mary magdalene and then there is no cup. >> these are clues in the painting that she was not an apostle but the head of the church, and elaine disagrees. >> i see john through leonardo's eyes and not mary. look at painting of john the baptist. you can see the painting of john the baptist has a faith you would think of a woman, and the body which is partly naked, is clearly a man's body. but that is the kind of men that leonardo liked. >> dan brown basis the theory
about jesus and mary in the ancient text known as the gnostic gospels. >> i was told these could not be the real gospels but were bad gospels. fake gospels. >> it is a book, the gospel of philip, at the matter of the controversy. >> this says "the companion of the savior was mary and the lord loved her more than the other disciples and," then there is a break in the text and we do not know. the text says that the other disciples were jealous and they said why do you love her more than all of us? >> is this account reliable? the gnostic gospel of philip was written in syria in 250 ad, which is 200 years after the time of jesus. the author says he kissed her often on the face.
>> gospel of philip does not suggest an actual sexual relationship but a symbolic relationship between jesus and his church or jesus and the holy spirit. >> i don't have a conspiracy of why the estimate broken but this paper is old and you touch it and it breaks up. so there are many breaks in the text. this is only one. the most provocative. >> important for me is mary was a major apostle in the first century on the left with peter and thomas. >> the idea that jesus christ has children with mary and they became part of the french royal line, is based on legends that go back to france back to the 9th century. so, it is not a new idea but it has virtually no historical basis whatever. >> there is good food and junk food. and there is good fiction and junk fiction. the da vinci code is junk
fiction. now, we will join our correspondent in paris for a look at how the da vinci code popularity has created an industry. >> thanks to the da vinci code tourist capital of paris is more have ited because the book is set here. the action begins at the museum with a murder, and the painting shows mary's prominent role. >> more interesting is that hour role as an early leader. >> one of several da vinci code tours is led by an art expert. >> history is something that is based on original documentation, that dan brown plays fast and loose with, in the book. >> there are inconsistency in the novel as do others, claiming that this contains a sinister 666 plates of glass but
according to the museum that should be 673 plates of glass. >> but that is nothing like the uproar at a church in paris, with religious artifacts and a line with a backdrop for more of the author dan brown's story which includes falsehoods including a less than define image of jesus christ. >> few believe what is in the book and they are surprised to discover that at least what it says of this church is not true. >> next, bethlehem. a special tour of the town. and the church.
>> we are on a hillside overlooking what was a little town when jesus was born and now bethlehem is under palestinian control and because of the violence of the last few years, visitors are staying away. even at christmas. in all of the holy land, bethlehem is considered the holy of the places by christians, jews, and muslims.
jews come here to pray at the the tomb the tomb rachel, the wife 6 jacob who died in child birth. muslims believe mohammed stopped here escorted by gabriel to visit the birthplace of jesus. and of course for christians, both ham, the city of king david, is the berth place of jesus christ. you can see how it attracts people from all over the world. because this is the birth of the savior not just of an important historical figure. >> a pastor has served in israel for 40 years armed with great knowledge of the place and took us on a church -- a tour of the church of nativity. he has seen many changes.
>> where did the christians go? >> they are afraid to come. >> afraid of the tour moil. >> bethlehem was 100 percent christian and now it is about 35 percent. >> people used to wait for hours to get to the church of the nativity and now you can walk right in. >> absolutely. you can see the door that we will go through. >> this is the traditional birthplace of jesus. >> this is the traditional birthplace and there is little doubt about the city. and, perhaps, probability, 85 percent, the church is actually built over the right place. we have two very different versions, one in luke where mary and jesus start from nasa -- nazareth and most scholars,
matthew's account is preferable but luke gives a more detailed account. >> more detailed, more vivid, more dramatic. and the linchpin is the census which forces the man and his pregnant wife to move across the country and i don't accept that census because this was not part of the roman empire and the census was for the empire. >> the new testament talks of a stable, so it is not to say it could not have been a cave. >> many stables are in caves and the representation of a cave is more accurate, i think. jesus was born here because the bible says there was no room for them at the inn. >> imagine a small one-room house. >> the question of where the birth occurs centers around a greek word translateed as "inn," and some call it a family home where space was tight. either way, mary would go to the
cave or stable. >> local tradition held this as jesus' birthplace and so in 326a.d., the mother of the emperor build the first church of the nativity here that was restored by justinian later. >> and the idea was to make people bow. >> to be humble. once inside the building visitors see a different sight from the humble stable of the bible, the greek orthodox main altar. >> ornate with the choir stalls and this is where they sing the bible. >> original church was built over the cave, eight sides.
and now it is below the grotto. >> we are in the grotto. there are two altars. if you put your hand through that hole you can touch the bedroom. rather, the bedrock. >> this is the altar of the manger. >> there are long disputes. the altar of the manger belongs to monks and the altar of the birth belongs to the greek orthodox and their rights are defined in a treaty. the other christian group with rights over the site is the arrest -- armenian orthodox. >> so the belief is that this is where jesus was born. >> yes. >> and then carried over here to the manger.
>> exactly. this is the cave which has been shaped. but this wall is artificial. next door is the contain -- the cave of the holy innocent. >> very little evidence of the original cave. >> the original is below us here. >> tradition has it that christ was born on the other side of this cave but this is part of the same cave system. >> yes, part of the cave system. that is an artificial wall that goes to the roof of the cave and you can see the bedroom above -- the bedrock above us. >> they excavated and got evidence that it was occupied up to the time of king david. >> there was dung and pottery and used for storage and more.
so this is the place to shelter a flock at night. or to store grain after the summer with no risk of dampness. and for a young woman giving birth, no drafts. >> a trip to the holy land is as much a journey of emotion as it is distance: 2,000 years after the birth of christ there is so much sadness here and the town where the baby was wrapped up in clothes is now wrapped in barbed wire, and guard towers where the shepherds watched their sheep but you can look past the troubles and see the historic site of the bibles inspires awe to walk the streets where jesus walked and touch the stones that
were standing when he passed by you have a profound sense of wonder. from the holy land and all of us at fox news, i am jon just one phillips' colon health probiotic cap a day helps defends against occasional constipation, diarrhea, gas and bloating. with the strains of good bacteria to help balance your colon. you had me at "probiotic." [ female announcer ] phillips' colon health. gives you a 50 percent annual bonus. so you earn 50 percent more cash. if you're not satisfied with 50% more cash, send it back! i'll be right here, waiting for it. who wouldn't want more cash? [ insects chirping ] i'll take it. i'll make it rain up in here. [ male announcer ] the new capital one cash rewards card.
the card for people who want 50% more cash. what's in your wallet? sorry i'll clean this up. shouldn't have made it rain. with doctors dregenberg and honeydew. and we're here at the ul labs to demonstrate the do's... and don'ts... of holiday safety. ma ma ma me me. do water your tree every day. don't let your tree get too dry. oh! do make sure your lights have the ul mark. ooh ooh ooh! and don't use worn or damaged lights.